Keshia Knight Pulliam was surprised when her former NFL-playing husband filed a divorce petition that included a curious request: a paternity test.
Ed Hartwell had only been married to Pulliam for seven months. He apparently wasn’t happy with the union, and even worse, suspects his wife of being unfaithful. The couple had only been dating for four months when they decided to get married.
For her part, Pulliam isn’t backing away quietly. She has been adamant that Hartwell is the father of her child and “has no objection to taking the paternity test he’s requesting,” according to TMZ.
She also wasn’t thrilled with her partner’s choice of dispute resolution. Her parents have been married for almost 40 years. Yet instead of sticking around to work on their issues, Hartwell has left the marital home and headed to court. Pulliam told CNN that “she no longer wants to be married to Hartwell,” and instead “wants to focus on her coming child.”
Pulliam rose to fame as Rudy Huxtable on the hit NBC sitcom, The Cosby Show. During her eight-year role as the youngest daughter, she earned an Emmy Award nomination, making her the youngest to receive such an honor. She had another long-standing role on Tyler Perry’s House of Payne as the wife of Calvin Payne. She earned two NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress during her time on the show. She is also an outspoken advocate for more diversity at the Golden Globe Awards.
Hartwell was a fourth-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens in 2001. He went on to play for three more teams over a seven-year career, including a stint with the Atlanta Falcons.
Under Florida Law, “a child born or conceived during a lawful marriage is a legitimate child of the mother and the man to whom she is married,” according to the Florida Bar’s website. This presumption is difficult to overcome if another man asserts he is the father so long as the husband objects to the proceedings. A narrow exception requires the non-married man to “establish a relationship with the child” when “the husband has been remiss in fulfilling his role as a father.”
Every family law case is unique. It’s important to understand all of the legal complexities when moving forward with such an action. Let the knowledgeable attorneys at the Men’s Divorce Law Firm guide you through the different options and find the best course of action for you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.